My creative process has 2 distinct halves- collecting and design.
As a lifelong packrat I have always enjoyed the collecting process, be it exploring barn sales and junk shops throughout New England or sneaking into scrap yards around Boston. Lately I have been buying industrial discards from fabrication shops- trying to find an alternative life for these laser cut castoffs.
In the chaos of the scrap heap materials appear in unexpected contexts and uncertain quantities, scattered about by massive magnetic cranes. Many design parameters are determined on the spot; which materials are currently available, how many pieces has the fabricator produced and most importantly, which dumpsters of potential gold have already been shipped out!
My relationship with my design process is a bit more complex. It can be instantaneous- I’ll see the perfect parts for a sculpture scattered at my feet, or it can get laborious. I find nothing more agonizing than writer’s block!
Currently my interests range from micro to macroscopic- from bacteria, viruses and diatoms, to flowers and their structures, to the giants of outer space- from the moons of Jupiter to comets, planets and galaxies. I build sculptures based on the universal forms of nature. I attempt to transform, up-cycle, manmade materials into the infinitely more complex forms designed by nature.
I work intuitively- with no drawing or sketching beforehand.
I enjoy working directly with materials- seeing which parts work best together.
I like clean lines with little or no ornament.
I like to pare things down to their essential parts.
I enjoy balancing seemingly impossible objects.
I admire resourcefulness.
I consider myself an optimist- seeing what an object could be instead of what it currently is. In the disposable world we live in, I strive to make things useful.
Maybe these all come from my training as an architect.
Artworks and installations in an environmental context allow the individual to have a new experience of perception. My focus is to create sculptures and installations where the normal experience of viewing is altered by walking through, around and into the sculptural space.
My artwork has ranged from abstract architectural structures to representational animals and imaginary creatures. The actual location and surrounding environment is often the source and inspiration directly influencing my art. Consistent in my approach is realizing the works in a larger-than-life scale.
WAVES was initially conceived as a result of living by the Hudson River for decades and each day watching the motion of the water as it flowed to the sea.
Currently on exhibit is another outdoor installation titled INTERIOR EXTERIOR
at The Mount, the historic home of Edith Wharton in Lenox, MA.
In these works I am drawing connections between nature and image. The image that recurs most seems to be a boat form. At times that boat image is intentional and at other times it creeps into the work unintentionally (Falling). I am interested in the associations and misunderstandings of those images that leads to poetic ironies and inversions.
Knowles and Thielen's site-specific sculptural installation entitled MODERN DANCE celebrates and responds to the natural environment. Consisting of a series of colorful arches of differing sizes created from wire fencing and surveyor’s tape, MODERN DANCE collaborates with the environmental setting in shape and size, ascending and descending in an undulating rhythm mirroring the organic tempo of the landscape.
Knowles and Thielen have collaborated most recently in an outdoor exhibit curated by Karen Wilken entitled ART IN NATURE at Greenwood Gardens in Short Hills, NJ,
Because MODERN DANCE is site specific, it changes size and shape each time it is installed. Adhering to the site determined by the curator, the installation responds in form to the configuration of the landscape with arches grouping in and out of the trees and plant growth, resulting in an endless possibility of color, form and fusion.
My training in working from life will never leave me; it will always govern my sense of proportion and structure, line, space and volume.
A new voice spoke to me over 20 years ago with my move from New York City to Bucks County, Pennsylvania. It was the landscape with its lush, multi-hued vegetation and vibrant fauna, rolling hills, dramatic mountain-scapes and its flowing, effervescent waterscapes. They spoke a language I had never known, but spoke a secret language to my heart. The contemplation of the expressive figure gave way to the perception and experience of life in this glorious landscape. It said this is home. Here we bear witness to the natural cycle of renewal and rest, a complete world providing a place where we can rest and dream.
I work thematically and predominantly in unique bronze castings and fabrications ranging in scale from gallery works to corporate, public and site-specific commissions, initially producing maquettes for enlargement.
Sculpture, in particular public sculpture, is, by its very nature, a collaborative effort involving artist, foundry, fabrication and installation professionals. I very much enjoy this group effort working toward a common goal. Please visit my website to see additional completed works, www.elizabethmccue.com. I believe my portfolio shows that I bring a respect and sensitivity to each project as each project is unique.
Sculpture brings forth the primacy of touch in a world over-flowing with machine-made objects.
Energy. Balance. The vitality of the body in action. The celebration of the human spirit. A timeless combination of old and new, routed in classical structure, yet stylized in its simplicity of form.
The sculptures are designed for longevity using modern construction materials beginning with a steel support framework which is layered with a special epoxy synthetic marble. Attention to detail, surface design, craftsmanship are unique aspects of Millen’s work.
David Millen studied in New York with internationally known sculptor Chaim Gross and later continued his figurative sculpture studies at the New School with Sabin Howard. His work has been on exhibition in many galleries, featured in numerous juried art shows, and is held in public and private collections throughout the country. Presently he is on the faculty of Creative Arts Workshop and teaches a special honors art class from North Haven High School as well as an adult class at his home studio.
Sculpture in the landscape pulls us out of ourselves and places us in our environment. It can ask us to dwell for a while in another form. It can center us in a particular and singular place. It is from my studio on the edge of the southern New England woodlands that my inspiration springs. The trees, rocks, and creatures native to the area inform my work. It is in communion with these elements that new forms suggest themselves as if awaiting transformation. Using centuries’ old wood carving techniques as well as modern methods, I create in clay and stone, wood and paper. These natural materials have unique properties that I am privileged to share with you.
I am a versatile sculptor who builds wall pieces and sculptures in paper, clay, and wood. My subject is the natural world which I approach impressionistically creating dynamic statements that demand attention. I am fascinated with skeletal structures found in both nature and language once the soft gooey stuff is gone. These remaining structures are the evidence of life as well as the frameworks which support our physical world.
Grounded in Earth my work is created from materials that come from the earth. I use recycled and virgin papers taken from living trees, clay harvested from ancient mineral deposits and natural fibers from plants. My palette is the colors found in nature. The act of making, layering, and building is an integral part of my giving form to the inner potential I see in the skeletal structures. Each sculpture is beautifully simple inviting the viewer to further discover the gems of fine detail exploding within. I am a master of detail and frequently add gold which peeks out from inside a work suggesting the wealth to be discovered in the inner world. In each piece it is the inner energy and potential that I work to fashion from life’s remnants. When I incorporate language, it is not what language is communicating that inspires me, but the possibilities which the elements of language offer us.
My most recent work explores communication focusing on stewardship of the planet. The phrase “Pillars of Wisdom” intrigued me as a concept for a sculpture and began an inquiry into the meaning of this phrase. For me wisdom is rooted in Nature and man’s understanding of that wisdom has been recorded in symbols and written language throughout history. As man’s understandings are recorded, shared and acknowledged by his circle, his bits of wisdom become cultural and religious dogma.
Pillars of Wisdom is a group of scrolls with a gold lining of inner truth covered with written elements of man’s recorded wisdom. The scrolls are made from recycled paper; paper which began as cellulose fiber transporting nourishment throughout a tree. Using paper as the primary material creates a strong bond within the sculpture to the source of man’s wisdom, Nature. Since the phrase is commonly associated with Seven Pillars of Wisdom (a number assigned by man in Proverbs), I chose seven languages from man’s recorded history and made three scrolls in each language: Language of the Goddess, Sumerian, Mayan, Old English, Arabic, Chinese and Binary. In addition I used the elements of each language on the outside of the scroll to allow for potential instead of actual words that could support existing dogma. I also used gold, the color of enlightenment and illumination, to represent the limitlessness of wisdom.
Small-scale artwork, has of late, regained some of the appreciation it rightly deserves. Having the familiarity of a household object, which at the same time makes it approachable as a work of art, bronze is a unique medium.
My concerns as a artist have grown from simply recreating an object of my own design in bronze, to a keen interest in centuries old process that has not only preceded me, but will also succeed me.
The values of craft have in recent years been somewhat overlooked, and this process has proved me an opportunity to be joined to a centuries old tradition. It is in this light that I offer these works for your consideration. Of particular note should be the fact that I have taken the time and effort to learn many aspects of this trade and not only built my own foundry, but have cast, in bronze, the works I have submitted for your approval.
I have, as a hope, through the exhibition of my work, a desire to be able as an artist to express not only myself in my work, but my request for what has preceded me.